Queries as murder suspect walks free, one year later

The prime suspect in the murder of Nakuru woman Angeline Mary Wangui, is walking free, more than a year after he was arrested and arraigned.

Shockingly, the suspect Micah Kiprotich, a student at Kabarak University, is out on a personal police bond, several months after he appeared in court, but did not answer to the murder charges.

Kiprotich was arrested on January 12, 2023 and presented in court on January 13, 2023, but did not take a plea.

Instead detectives requested 14 days to conclude investigations. However, on January 27,2023, they again presented the suspect in court, but still sought for another 14 days to conduct further investigations.

During the period, detectives said that they will extract data from the suspect’s phone. He will also be taken to Nakuru Level Five Hospital for a mental examination before he appears in court.

In yet another appearance in court, the suspect was presented in court on February 13,2023and detectives asked for a further seven days to conduct investigations.

It is these delays and the adjournments of taking plea that have raised eyebrows over the manner in which detectives are investigating the murder.

Currently Kiprotich is a free man, raising questions over when and how he secured his release, without being granted cash bail or bond.

Kiprotich,26, who is linked to the brutal murder of Angeline Mary Wangui, whose body was found on December 12,2022, after a night party was smoked out of his hideout on January 12,2023.

Wangui went to a friend’s party only for her body to be found dumped in a sack at Ngata area along Nakuru-Eldoret highway. However, Kiprotich has never been charged in the court.

Mr Kiprotich appeared for the first time in court on January 13, but police were allowed to detain him for two weeks to conclude investigations. He was held at the Menengai Police Station.

In his application before the court, Mr Omusungu, a detective from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, said that the suspect disappeared after committing the offence until he was arrested on January 11 along Kitale-Eldoret road,where he was hiding.

The police sought more time to have the suspect taken through a mental assessment to establish whether he is fit to stand trial.

According to the investigating officer, police also wanted more time to extract some samples from the suspect which will be taken to the government chemist for analysis.

Mr Omusungu further told the court that the suspect’s phone will be taken to the cybercrime unit for extraction of crucial data which will help in the investigations adding that they were yet to record statements from witnesses.

The magistrate noted that due to the nature and the complexity of investigations as presented by the investigating officer Jared Omusungu, the matter necessitated her to grant the request by the police.

The court ordered that the case will be mentioned on January 27, to confirm if the officers have completed their investigations before he answers to murder charges.

On January 27, the suspect was arraigned in court but the investigative officer requested for further two weeks saying that they were yet to conclude their investigations.

Mr Omusungu told the court that they were yet to get the DNA results from the government chemist saying that the chemicals were to be imported from the United State of America and were supposed to be received in two weeks’ time.

He said that the suspect was yet to be taken for physiatrist examination with the sought Safaricom data and Mpesa statements were yet to be availed.

He further told the court that three crucial witnesses were yet to record statements as he had not been able to trace them to record their statements.

Through his lawyer, the suspect opposed the continuous detention of the suspect without being charged as the court has given investigative time to conclude their investigation.

He told the court that they cannot wait for chemicals to come from the US and that the Mpesa statement can be availed to police without a delay.

He said the first 14 days granted to the prosecution was enough for the investigating officer to record statements from the witnesses.

“It is the duty of the court to uphold the 14 days’ process and human rights are available irrespective of the weight of the evidence in possession of the police. His rights to be charged have been violated. The delay to charge the suspect which is not explained remains unconstitutional,” the advocate told the court.

He appeared in court on February 13 and detectives asked for a further seven days to conduct investigations.

On February 13, the investigative officer sought seven more days to conclude investigations requesting the court to release him on bond with surety that he paid to the DCI Rongai.

Chief magistrate Hellen Nderitu ruled that Mr Kiprotich be released on a personal bond of Sh100,000 ordering him to report to DCI Rongai weekly.

However, Ms Wangui’s family has read malice in the delays, terming them tactics to defeat justice.

“We were not in court when the suspect was granted the Sh100,000 personal bond. As a family we are shocked that the suspect is a free man, despite not taking a plea for several days now,” said Mr James Maina, the late Wangui’s father.

Interestingly, on March 29,2023, the investigative officer sought for seven more days saying that they were yet to receive forensic results from the Government Chemist in Kisumu.

The case was slated to be mentioned on April 12,2023. However, since then Kiprotich has never been charged in court.

According to Rongai sub-county Directorate of Criminal Investigation Donnata Otieno, she forwarded the file to the Office of Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) for further directions.

She however said that they have never received any update from ODPP to charge the suspect with the murder or dismiss the case.

Ms Otieno said that the suspect was released on police bail and was ordered to report to the DCI Rongai office every month, but for the past months he has never been seen.

“I duplicated two files, one was forwarded to OC crime headquarters while the other to ODPP.

“They were to give direction on whether to charge the suspect, dismiss the case or any way forward. I have never received any results to date. He has never been charged in court,” she said

Wangui’s father Mr James Maina, who is yet to get justice over her daughter’ murder has since raised questions on how the Investigating officer kept on asking for more days to complete the investigation.

According to him, the investigative officer dragging the case by seeking more days was a tactful manner to frustrate the case and the family to give up.

“The suspect has not taken a plea ever since he was arrested. I have been trying to reach the investigating officer to ask about the progress of the case but he is hardly available.

“I do not think I will ever get justice over my daughter’s death,” he said

Wangui’s body was found dumped in Ngata Bridge along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway on December 12,2022.

According to Mr Maina-he last spoke to his daughter on December 11,2022 at 8pm.

Mr Maina said that her daughter told her sister that she had been invited to a friend’s party at Kabarak.

Her sister informed detectives and family that Ms Wangui was constantly communicating with someone on the phone, who was asking her why she was delaying.

Her body would later be found the next day, dumped by the roadside.

At the time of his death, she was to join the Kenya Medical Training Institute but her dreams were shattered.

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